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  • Nuclear is reliable.

    Nuclear is reliable.

    Nuclear plants are the most efficient source of electricity, operating 24/7 at a more than 92 percent average capacity, which is a measure of how much electricity a plant could potentially generate versus how much it actually did. During the 2014 polar vortex, U.S. plants operated at 95 percent capacity. Nuclear plants can achieve these numbers because of world-class operations and because a plant only refuels once every 18-24 months.


  • Nuclear is clean.

    Nuclear is clean.

    It protects our air quality by generating electricity without harmful pollutants like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter or mercury.  


  • Nuclear is powerful.

    Nuclear is powerful.

    One uranium fuel pellet creates as much energy as one ton of coal, 149 gallons of oil or 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas. A typical nuclear power reactor generates enough electricity to power 755,000 homes without emitting any greenhouse gases. That’s more than enough to power a city the size of Philadelphia.



    Uranium 101

    How nuclear energy works

    Uranium is a naturally-occurring element in the Earth's crust. Traces of it occur almost everywhere, although mining takes place in locations where it is naturally concentrated. To make nuclear fuel from the uranium ore requires first for the uranium to be extracted from the rock in which it is found, then enriched in the uranium-235 isotope, before being made into pellets that are loaded into assemblies of nuclear fuel rods. These fuel rods are then grouped together to form fuel assemblies, which make up the core of a reactor. In the reactor core the uranium-235 isotope fissions or splits, producing a lot of heat in a continuous process called a chain reaction. At a nuclear power plant, the heat from fission is used to produce steam, which spins a turbine to generate electricity. (Source: World Nuclear Association)


    According to the World Nuclear Association (“WNA”), as of April 2018, there are about 450 operable nuclear power plants globally providing ~11% of the world's electricity. Taken together, there are approximately 30 countries that use nuclear energy to generate between 25% and 75% of their electricity. (Source: World Nuclear Association)


    “We’re coming into a new era of nuclear. We had that early era of promise that ended in the late ‘70s and have been in the dark ages for the past 40 years… I think we’re coming to a new moment where a new generation recognizes Nuclear is essential for creating peace, prosperity and environmental protection.

    – Michael Shellenberger, CNA 2018, Talk Nuclear


    Nuclear power plants are a highly efficient and reliable source of electricity – operating 24/7 at a more than 92 percent average capacity.

    (Source: Nuclear Energy Institute)


    The International Panel on Climate Change found in 2014 that nuclear energy’s life cycle carbon emissions were lower than solar, geothermal and hydropower and comparable to wind-generated power.  Electricity generated with nuclear energy is estimated to avoid the emissions of more than 555 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, in the United States alone, every year. 

    (Source: Nuclear Energy Institute)


    Nuclear energy strengthens local and national economies by creating high paying jobs, paying millions of dollars in taxes, stabilizing the production of power and contributing to energy security.

    (Source: Nuclear Energy Institute)


    Nuclear energy provides diversity and reliability to our grid. A diverse supply of fuels balances the benefits and risks associated with each source.  With a view of meeting the world’s growing demand for clean electricity, the WNA’s Harmony programme calls for nuclear energy capacity to expand in order to supply approximately 25% of electricity by 2050 as part of a diverse energy mix.

    (Source: Harmony Programme)

    Quick Nuclear Facts

    • Nuclear power is the largest non-hydro source of clean energy worldwide and currently provides 11.5% of global electricity and 21% of electricity to OECD countries
    • 453 commercial nuclear power reactors are operable in 31 countries with another 56 under construction
    • The United States is the world’s largest market for nuclear energy, operating 100 reactors.
    • Future nuclear power demand is expected to be driven by increasing nuclear generating capacities in Asia – primarily from China, India and South Korea.

    Quick Uranium Facts

    • Uranium is a naturally occurring metal which has been used as an abundant source of energy for 60 years
    • Used as fuel to generate nuclear power within reactors
    • One ton of natural uranium is equivalent to burning 16,000 tons of coal or 80,000 barrels of oil
    • Canada and Kazakhstan provide over 60% of the world’s uranium supply
    • In 1938 it was discovered that a uranium atom could be split to release large amounts of energy through a process called nuclear fission, giving rise to a nuclear renaissance.

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